Sunday, November 10, 2013

Suicidal Ideation: A continuing series of ...

... motorcycles that I'd like to own, or at least ride, but knowing that doing so would likely be the death of me I choose to imagine doing it rather than actually doing it.

I love this vintage Honda 750 with clip-ons that's floating around downtown Troy.  Clip-ons, for those of you not totally in the loop, are an alternative handlebar treatment in which you rip the stock handlebars off the bike and just "clip" stubby little pegs to each side of the upper suspension.  More than anything else, this changes your posture on the bike, forcing you to lean forward with your chest over the gas tank, as if you were riding a racing bike.  The term for this is "cafe racer."

If you Google 'cafe racer' then click images you get pictures of motorcycles that look like this ...

And this ...

The idea is that you strip the vehicle down to its barest, most motorcycle-y essence.  No fenders.  Barely a seat.  No starter motor.  No muffler.  No nothing, really, other than shit that makes you go fast.  The Honda I took the picture of hasn't been stripped down that far -- it's still pretty plush, in fact -- but it made me smile.  I don't even think it's that 'vintage', given the disc brakes.  But one has to admire the spirit of the thing.

Could you just die?
Yes.
Hence the name of the post.
Exactly.

It should also be noted that, back in the day (late 60s), when the guys at Honda introduced an in-line, four cylinder engine everybody literally shit a brick.  Often termed the first superbike, the Honda 750 became the prototype for almost every racing bike since.

You can argue that the three cylinder Kawasaki was the first superbike, not the Honda.
Yes you can.  I thought they were cooler bikes.  And they got extra points for asymmetrical exhaust pipes.
Well, there were three of them.  You had to do something with the third one.
I'm just saying.  It looked pretty radical for its time.

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